PWCS 7th Highest Spender on Administration Nationally, Says TV News

| October 17, 2017 | 0 Comments | Education

Photo by Ashleigh Henegar

Last week, Nathan Baca of “7 ON YOUR SIDE” ABC News – WJLA contacted Prince William County Schools, alleging the school division has some of the highest administrative costs per student of the 100 largest school systems in the country.

Prince William County School is the nation’s 35th largest school district with a total enrollment of 89,481 students in 2017.

The leadership at Prince William County declined to comment to ABC, claiming a lack of information about the data.

“Not knowing the source of the data, how it was collected, or the validity of the study and its results, it is not appropriate to respond beyond saying that we value the important work of our administrators and know that their leadership has a direct relationship to the success of the students in our classrooms,” says Deputy Superintendent Keith Imon, Prince William County Public Schools.

According to 7 ON YOUR SIDE, Prince William County Schools spends $1,155 per student on administrative positions such as principals and superintendents.

The numbers are based upon data from the Public Education Finances Report: 2015, Economic Reimbursable Surveys Division Reports by the Educational Finance Branch, Issued June 2017, according to ABC News.

New York City spends $82.650 million on general administrative staff, according to the ERSD Report (p.32); whereas Prince William spends $36.379 million for its fewer than 90,000 students. Fairfax County Schools, which has 186,842 students, spent $11.778 million, according to the report.

General Administrative staff excludes principals and assistant or vice principals as they fall under a separate category. In that category, PWCS spends another $63.664 million. The total of the two is approximately $100 million, and according to our numbers approximately $1,118 per student using current enrollment numbers. That is about 1/10 of total per student spending.

Howard County, Maryland, north of the D.C. Metro Area, is the 4th highest spender on administrative costs, according to Channel 7.

Prince William School Board Chairman At-large Ryan Sawyers appeared on the 7 ON YOUR SIDE via Skype to comment, Friday.

“I don’t feel the school board is doing its job in asking those tough questions, and demanding those tough answers” Sawyers said on air.

The superintendent and division council have $2.6 million in contracts, said Sawyers, who is currently suing the superintendent and council. Those numbers span a five-year contract.

Sawyers said he is frustrated because the school division spent money on a study last year, which he said “basically said the exact opposite of what you presented to us…I’m going to get to the bottom of this.”

Prince William County Schools provided Bristow Beat a comparison between PWCS’s operating budget for 2017 and others in the Washington Area region as per the Washington Area Board of Education or “WABE” guide.

While it does not include a scale of administrator pay, WABE shows that Prince William County is on par with other area counties as far the number of principals and assistant principals it employs per student ratio.

However, when calculated by student ratio, the WABE guide also shows that Prince William County Schools has more non-school based positions than surrounding large districts.

At the same time, it is well-known that PWCS is lagging behind in student to teacher ratios, amount spent per pupil and average teacher salary – areas the school board and Prince William Board of County Supervisors named as priorities since they directly impact student learning.

Prince William County School Board has allocated money each year to reduce class sizes and provided teachers with pay increases over the last few years as well.

More information on the WABE report to follow in subsequent articles. 

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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